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Email about TNR for stray cats, and Crazy Cat Lady's response.

Stray Cat Trap, Neuter, Release

Of all of the wild animals I have dealt with, trapped feral cats can be the most ferocious! They claw, bite, hiss, emit a nasty musk scent, and do anything to escape. I've seen ferals scale a ten foot wall. They're not to be trifled with. When I capture cats I bring them to the humane society in the county I catch them in. They are available for adoption of course, but most are put down after a certain time period. Many people consider this a sad situation, but it is the reality of this country's cat problem. Bob Barker is right: "Have your pet spayed or neutered!"

The above info, listed on my feral cat page, prompted one woman to write the below email:

Dear Animal Control Expert,

I hope you don't object to our telling you this but our 'ladies only' trapping group really got a chuckle out of your description of trapping feral cats. It was hilarious! We can't believe you are serious? Some of us 'girls' trap ferals in designer heels and suits on our way to the train for work! Then drop them at the shelter for spay and neuter. It's a breeze! Of course they thrash and hiss a bit. So would you if we caged you--ha ha ha! Seriously, once they are covered with a dark towel they calm down. It's NO BIG DEAL!

Also, as a trapper in the community, we suggest read up on managed feral cat colonies with trap, neuter, release methods (TNR). This is the best means of permanently controlling and reducing feral cat populations, and one that you should be up-to-date with so that you can recommend TNR groups such as ours. TNR caregivers provide continued monitoring and management of the colonies.

We hope that you change you web site so as not to frighten folks off from TNR. Then you can leave those vicious and ferocious kitties to us ladies to trap, spay and neuter!

P.S. Yeah, admittedly it's tough on our manicures!

Meow!

Crazy Cat Lady
So I thought I'd include that email here for yet another perspective on the feral cat issue.

ANALYSIS: Do catch, neuter, release programs work for cats?

With the growing problem of stray cats roaming our streets, up to as many as 70 million of them as some studies would suggest, it would seem as if any program to stop the incredible growth of these critters would be welcome with open arms. The catch, neuter, release program, which has recently been introduced in many places in the States is just one of these programs, and although it has come under scrutiny, there is definitely some studies which suggest that it has already shown to have worked, even in its relatively short life span so far.

The catch, neuter, release program, which from now on we shall call CNR for short, simply because it takes too long to say, (or type) is a program that basically catches stray cats, neuters or spays them, and then releases them back into the wild. Obviously, this has come under understandable scrutiny, and it wouldn’t be fair to talk about this program without mentioning the good and the bad points.

One of the main bad points that have been noted is that it doesn’t deal with the problem of stray cats. They are still going to be on the streets, rooting through garbage cans, making a mess with their droppings, and spreading disease. This is a true statement to make, but on the flip side, what else are we meant to do with them? Shelters are an option, but in all fairness without unlimited funding, there is never going to be enough shelters in the world for 70 million stray cats!

Another negative that a few people have made about the CNR program is that it relies on the general public to help trap the cats in order for the catch part of the program to take place. This is true, but at the end of the day, it has been reported that over 50 million dollars of taxpaying money is spent on the removal of these creature from the streets anyway, doesn’t it make sense for us, (the people that are paying whether we like it or not) to make a stand and to start helping within our own communities?

There are a few things that you need to know, of course, before you begin to start helping with the CNR program. Firstly, if you want to trap stray cats in order to take them to shelter, you need to know how to do so properly with human traps. Secondly, if you really want to do your bit, you could make a donation to the Vet that is performing the neutering – they are often doing it free of charge, but you will need to make sure that you are taking them to the right clinic – they are often booked in advance.

When it comes to looking at whether or not the CNY programs actually work, you need to take a look at the statistics. Studies have already shown that this is the most effective way to stabilize the ever growing stray and feral cat population to levels that are considered to be more manageable. A pair of breeding strays can create up to 400,000 kittens in a seven year period – the CNR reduces the rate of strays by this much PER mating couple! On top of that, it is a more humane way of dealing with the problem than wrong trapping methods and extermination. It also helps to eliminate a lot of the behaviors that are often associated with mating, such as spraying and fighting.

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